Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix “Shichi” : Origin, Temperament, Training & Life Expectancy

The mix of Shih Tzu and Chihuahua is called Shichi. This toy breed is really popular among first-time dog owners because aside from being so cute, they are also sweet and cuddly. 

Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix Origin

Shih Tzu which means little lion.

If you think the name of this dog breed sounds like a Chinese word, then you are right! The toy breed was originated on the Tibetan Plateau but was developed in China. During the Ming Dynasty, Chinese royalties, even emperors, kept them as royal pets.

Shih Tzus are toy dogs, and when we grow up they only weigh four to 7.25 kilograms. Shih Tzus grew up to 20 to 28 centimeters so imagine how small they are. Cute, right? They are small dogs with long locks and physical characteristics that are distinctive.

What else should you know?

Shichi’s parent Shih Tzu is a loving dog— they love to follow their owners wherever they go. They’re friendly and a little naughty but even though they often annoy you with nonstop barking, you’ll always love to play with them because they’re cute, sweet and very affectionate with their owners and to whom they’re comfortable with.

Meanwhile, Shichi’s Chihuahua side…

Chihuahua, the smaller version of Techichi.

The roots of Chihuahuas are not well known. The knowledge about them is somewhat obscure, as there are no precise details of where they come from and when people have started to adopt them as pets. What is known, though, is that they are the smallest recognized dog breed in the world.

Chihuahuas are born with soft spots like human babies, it is found on the top of their skull. Although they are known to be the world’s smallest dog, in relation to their size, they have the largest brain in all breeds.

Now, the crossbreed called Shichi – Shih Tzu and Chihuahua.

Shichis, Chi-Tzus or Chi-Shis, like their parents are also small dogs that stand no more than 7 to 10 inches and weigh only 3 to 9 or 16 pounds. Meanwhile, this breed usually has a chubby face when it comes to their appearance. It’s got a round face and lovely, round eyes. They can black, tan, white, brown and white and black and white.

Is Shih Tzu Chihuahua Mix the perfect cross dog breed for you? What should you know first before adopting a Shichi dog?

Do you really want to adopt a mixed breed of Shih Tzu Chihuahua? It’s a serious responsibility to get a pet and it takes time, energy and patience. If you’re ready to be an instant parent or let’s say you’re a mother or father to another child, you should be prepared to face some challenges. In addition, these things should be considered also: temperament, health problems, and training.

Temperament

Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed is loyal, playful, energetic and vocal. They are also loving and protective. Shichis temperament came from its parent’s combined personalities.

Although they are playful, they can also be shy if you do not give them proper socialization practice. As a dog owner, you should train them properly about how to socialize and mingle with other people and other dogs.

Shichis are fragile and if you let them play with other dogs or children, you should keep an eye on them. If you have kids or other pets, be sure to monitor them while playing with this breed. Teach them to be careful with Shichis as they tend to play rough with children and other dogs Keep in mind that the Shichis are like little lions, they’re going to fight back when they feel threatened and keep an eye on them.

Shihchi can be a charmer, so they can trick you easily. If he wants to, they can have their way because he knows how to play around you and act sweet. Never fall into the trap of your pet and let them do whatever they want, as it can lead to behavioral problems such as being too aggressive or naughty.

Training

Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed could be really stubborn especially if they only want to play and be lazy. They are playful, yes, but it does not mean they will give you the same enthusiasm when you try to teach them manners and tricks.

Shichis have their parents ‘ personalities, which means training will not be as easy as giving them treats. So, be ready to have a hard time when training them. What you can do is to be strong and relaxed as a dog trainer. Be in command. Never let them bully you, as you must show them that you are the boss and that they must obey you.

Other than being like a commander-in-chief in the training, try attracting them through treats. However, make sure to not overuse this method as they might get used to it and be more demanding and naughty if you don’t give them treats when they did something good.

What else should you do to train Shichis easily?

There are other ways Shichis can be trained – teach them how to socialize as quickly as possible. It will help them to be more relaxed and sociable so let them interact and play with other dogs and people. Your Shichi will be more accepting and brave by socializing. They’re going to be more curious about exploring and learning new things.

When teaching your Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed dog, you must be always positive. The best way to teach your dog is to make the training engaging and fun for both of you. Positive reinforcement always works especially for stubborn energetic dogs like Shichis. 

Shichis have a short span of attention so as a dog owner, you can make the training short but fun and enjoyable for him. In addition, keep in mind that dogs enjoy compliments, so be sure to reward him if he did something good and succeeded in following your orders. Be aware that Shichis could be a bit slow so always be patient.

Note: Potty training is one of the very first things that you should teach your Shichi.

Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed’s health issues 

All dogs have health issues so as a dog owner, you should keep in mind that scheduling a regular vet checkup is really important. Being informed about your dog’s origin and health condition is necessary so when the time comes you encounter such health issues, you know what are the things you should prioritize first. 

Because Shichi is a Shih Tzu Chihuahua crossbreed, there is a high likelihood that your dog has inherited eye and breathing problems, hypoglycemia, and obesity from his parent. Pay more attention to the eye of your dog because usually Shih Tzu and Chihuahua have eye problems. Never leave your Shichi out too long as his eyes could be harmed by the dust and climate.

What you should take note about the parents of your furry buddy

Shih Tzu is prone to health issues related to conformity. They may also have serious breathing problems and IVDD or Intervertebral Disc Disease. In addition, this breed of dogs may also suffer hypothyroidism, hip developmental dysplasia (DDH) or more recognized as hip dysplasia, kneecap dislocation (patellar luxation) and epilepsy.

Aside from these health conditions, as I mentioned, Shih Tzus can also suffer from serious eye issues like:

  • Third eyelid gland prolapse
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Retinal detachment

Chihuahua is considered to have significant, serious health problems, and these health issues are mostly associated with their small size. The common health issue of this breed is tooth decay and gum disease, so regular brushing of teeth and dental check-ups are really important. Add to that, you should also limit their sugar consumption— it is advisable but not necessary to avoid sugary food.

What else should you know about Chihuahua’s health condition

Since Chihuahua is a small dog breed, they are prone to having eye issues like glaucoma. Just like Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas can also experience patellar luxation or kneecap dislocation, tracheal collapse and heart disease. 

In addition, this pooch may also be afflicted by canine necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME), a deadly inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and/or a hereditary disease called idiopathic epilepsy, the most common cause of dog seizures.

Note: The health issues listed above can be inherited by your dog so better be prepared and consult your doctor once you see signs that he is not OK. 

Life expectancy

Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix dog breed can live a long time so better be prepared to spend a lot of time with them. Shichis’ common lifespan is 12 to 15 years, just like his parents. 

Final thoughts

Taking care of small dogs like Shichis is really time-consuming, so if you know that managing your time will be a challenge for you, then you should consider changing your mind or adopting a pet that does not require too much attention. 

You need to verify if you’re ready to face the challenges of having a small, energetic dog if you adopt a Shichi. Just as I wrote above, this Shih Tzu Chihuahua mix breed is really energetic, meaning they love to move around and play with their owners. If you think the information I gave you can be addressed, then this breed is perfect for you. But, if not, it is much better if you just let go of the idea of having a Shichi in your home.

Remember, pets want affection and attention, so if you can’t give them that, but you really want to take care of dogs, then why not enter a dog shelter or animal house as a volunteer rather than adopting a dog. At least that way, you can still share your love with them without thinking about not spending time with them while you’re at home or being unable to take care of them— physically and emotionally. 

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